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News 2013

News 2013

From the August 2013 Newsletter:

Friday Night Supper in the rain

This is the summer of unstable weather. Many days start out sunny and later have showers as well. That includes Fridays. Four Friday Night Suppers were cancelled for threatened rain. Then the staff decided to put on the dinners regardless of the forecast. They prepare by putting up the farmers’ market tents over the picnic tables if showers are likely. They cleaned up the inside of the rink house (normally pretty messy in summer because it’s mainly used as a staging area for park program supplies). CELOS donated additional chairs and stools for the inside, so people can sit down if they have to get out of the rain.

Two suppers since then have had heavy showers and strong winds. People came anyway, and discovered the joys of huddling under the tents with their neighbours, or gathering inside the rink house. Bad weather seems to make the food taste even better – an unexplained mystery.

The real beneficiaries of the Friday Night Supper weather are the kids. When it rains, the rink pad fills up fast with a couple of inches of water, making a wonderful place to run around and splash in rubber boots or bare feet, and play tag, or bike through the floodwaters (good practice!). On the first Friday in August the kids hit on an even better water game. They asked for the dozen or so brooms and squeegees from the rinkhouse, and they experimented, for hours, with the physics of moving waves with a push broom (also up an incline – up the rink pad’s skateboard ramps). It’s a wonderful sight, a whole rink of little kids testing the properties of water.

Pizza days: Wednesdays and Sundays, 12 to 2pm
The make-your –own-pizza days have been going continuously since the first oven was built in 1995. The park staff make dough and set out little dishes of cheese and tomato sauce. For $2.50 you can make your own pizza, and you can add herbs and (soon) little tomatoes from the nearby children’s garden. You can bring extra ingredients from home as well. Birthday parties can be scheduled from 11 to 12 or from 2 to 3 on Sundays. To book a party, call the staff at 416 392-0913, or better yet, email them at

After so many years of making rather plain pizza, it might be time to be a bit more adventuresome. On the last Friday in July, a CBC news-van showed up to show the ovens on the six-o-clock news. The news story was actually about a backyard oven in Leslieville, where baker Craig Horning had been making extraordinarily good pizzas for his neighbours. The City’s Licensing and Standards Department felt he must be running an illegal backyard business, so they told him to stop. When we looked at his Facebook page and read the descriptions of the toppings he put on, we called him up: would he be willing to be a once-time “guest baker” at Dufferin Grove, and share his pizza knowledge? He said yes. Watch the website and the park bulletin boards for the date (it’s not set yet): everyone welcome.

From the Summer 2013 Newsletter:

Campfires, Friday Night Suppers, Pizza Days

Despite the new more complicated arrangements at Dufferin Grove, all three of these programs are continuing this summer. To become a campfire volunteer, email For more information, go to the website and click on “campfires.” Make-your-own pizza days are on Wednesdays from 12 to 2, and on Sundays from 12 to 2. Birthday party slots are available before or after (email Friday Night Suppers are from 6 to 7.30, by the ovens, weather permitting. For the week’s menu: the menu link is on the home page.


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